Materials science: Close-up on cracks

Fineberg, Jay
November 2003
Nature;11/13/2003, Vol. 426 Issue 6963, p131
Academic Journal
The article presents a research in the field of materials science. The fracture of materials is part of one's everyday experience, and yet the process is not well understood. The effects of material failure are obvious on macroscopic scales, and yet the dynamics of fracture that lead to such failure are governed entirely by the material's behaviour at the smallest scales. The theoretical framework for the formation of the stress singularity is based on the assumption that a material under stress follows the rules of linear elasticity. Calculations show how significant the effects of hyperelasticity can be, even when the hyperelastic zone is only a few hundred atoms in size and the remainder of the material is behaving elastically.


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